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Colours In The Tarot

WRITTEN BY: MAGENTA

As insightful as ever, Magenta offers a refreshing take on colours and shows us how colours and tarot blend together.

Colour is part of our life and existence. Everywhere we look there is colour and even in our speech, for instance, ‘he saw red’ or ‘green with envy’.

Colour is a vibration of light and we perceive the shades of colour reflected through the rainbow, or nature’s prism consisting of the primary colours of red, blue and yellow and blends thereof.  Many people who are visually impaired are able to perceive the vibratory rate of colours whether it’s in their mind’s eye or through the sense of smell, feel or sound. Even folks who are colour-blind see colours but in different shades or intensity than normal colour-sighted people do.  An American cousin of mine who is colour-blind, during his time in the Army was very useful identifying soldiers in camouflage colours in the jungle as he could see the colours in different shades.

There are psychological preferences for certain colours too, often based on traditional associations with colour – in Western society, brides wear white and mourners wear black for instance; yet in China, women mourners usually wear white. We all have favourite colours and colours that we always wear. To Stone Age man, black berries for instance would have been a potential warning of inedible food.

9 of pentacles, The Lovers and 6 of Cups all show yellow tones

Colour carries archetypal or primal elements dating back to antiquity and as the Tarot comprises of 78 cards in full colour, these colours portray deeper subconscious messages.  Even the early Tarot de Visconti decks were in colour, albeit muted shades when compared to the Tarot de Marseilles decks.

So, looking at the Rider Waite deck Majors, we see particular colours found on each of the Trumps.

Red = The Chariot, The Tower
Keywords = survival instincts, action, security/ aggression, rashness

Orange = The Empress
Keywords = liveliness, vibrancy, procreate/overzealous, smothering

Yellow = The Sun
Keywords = happiness, mental imagery, self-confidence, love of life/doubting, over exuberance, burn-out

Green = Temperance
Keywords = healing, calming, soothing, harmony/ jealousy, unbalanced, stress

Pink = The Lovers
Keywords = understanding, admiration, happy memories/ emotional instability, self doubt

Turquoise/Pale Blue = The Hanged Man, The High Priestess, The Hierophant
Keywords = compassion, inner healing, unconditional love/ bigotry, bias, clinging to old thoughts

Blue = The Magician
Keywords = eager, amiable, socially aware/ inability to communicate, socially vulnerable

Purple = The Emperor
Keywords = insight, wisdom, perception/ over bearing, inability to bend, doubting authority

Magenta = The Hermit
Keywords = universal harmony, vivacity, tapping into universal knowledge/ rejecting advice, standing alone, refusal to move

Indigo = The World, The Fool
Keywords = inspiration, new venture, confidence/ lack of inspiration, self doubt, inability to start anything

Lavender = Strength
Keywords = calming, approachable, harmony/ tension, inability to relax

White = The Star, The Wheel of Fortune
Keywords = truth, knowledge, illumination/ misunderstanding, lack of clarity, disharmony

Brown = The Devil
Keywords = earthy, practical, conventional/ excess, unconventional, lack of self control

Black = Death, Judgement, The Moon
Keywords = intense healing, transformation, necessary changes/ unresolved issues, thwarted ambitions, self delusion

Grey = Justice
Keywords = balance, influence, successful combination/ opposing viewpoints or influences, negativity, blandness

Looking at each Minor card we see a predominant colour or colours on it and the keywords above also apply, although to a slightly lesser degree.

For example, the 8 of Wands is predominantly turquoise, green & brown giving positive keywords of compassion, healing & practical or negatively; bias, stress & lack of control.

In the image of three Rider Waite Tarot cards, we have 9 of Pentacles, The Lovers & 6 of Cups.

The main colour on each card is yellow, a happy colour with red the next colour showing a survival element to the three cards. The Angel on the Lovers wears a magenta cloak which gives universal harmony. These keywords can also be used in the interpretation of these cards in a reading.

The colours now give another level of interpretation and this may well be why we are drawn to particular cards or have a dislike of others and which is not always down to their perceived interpretation either.

As an exercise, pull out three (or more) cards randomly from your deck and see what the colours mean to you.

Magenta

February 2019